The part one of this article captured some interesting analysis about the proportionate disparities that exist between the “haves” and the “have nots”. It explains how ironically the very minority of the world’s population possesses the greatest share of the global wealth. It also touched on some of the systemic frameworks that give rise to this and how efforts directed at reversing this current trend of flow of wealth is making less and less impact. From part one, you would understand that each individual in the majority group of persons who share only about ten percent of the world’s resources need to do more than just cling onto the near chimerical hope of a reversal in the status-quo. The purpose of this article however, is not to analyse the achievability of an expected turnaround of the current trend of flow of wealth, but to suggest some ways by which as an individual you can stop losing your resources unjustifiably to the magnetic mechanisms of the super rich. The first of these – change your perspective about the cent – was explained in the preceding part, and this part delves into some more ways and tips to help you be on guard for your resources.
Know your needs from your wants
It is important to not confuse your wants with your needs. Using the analogy of the saying “failing to plan, is planning to fail”, I would say “failing to know your needs, is planning to lack when in need”. Sometimes, because people do not take any deliberate steps to identify their needs from their wants, they confuse the two and unknowing live a profligate life. Needs are always subsets of wants and therefore to know your needs, identify all your wants and painstakingly scrutinize their individual relevance to your life as at the time you are taking this decision. Writing your needs in your diary or typing them down in a personal record space in your computer makes it easier to identify items that are completely fuelled by wishful desires.
For many people, it is a simple question of weakness in certain aspects of their lives. Whereas some cannot enter the boutique without coming out with some bag, shoe or cap they had completely hitherto not planned to buy, others cannot pass by a nice restaurant that emits sweet aroma without bulging in to grab something even though they are not hungry. Getting on the path of prudence only requires personal effort by avoiding your circles of weakness. If you know you are a shopping addict, it has to be your own conscious effort not to just randomly or spontaneously enter boutiques and shopping malls unless you plan on buying something specific that you need and have included in your budget. You can also make it a habit to deliberately leave your Credit/Debit Cards behind each time you go on such random walks to avoid the temptation of buying something that does not fall within your list of needs, and keep as minimum amount of cash on you as possible. Once you start taking critical thoughts about things that create leakages in your resources, you can then begin to take steps to plug those holes and save money.
Be a haggler – no need to be ashamed
It is arguably a good thing to have a skeptic’s mind about prices. Have there been times in the past when you bought something and found out later that you could have gotten it cheaper than the amount you actually paid for it, than times when you realize later that you got a great deal after paying for the item? Your yea or nea to this question will let you know whether you are inclined to thoroughly scrutinizing prices before paying for a transaction or not. Being a haggler does not only mean literally standing in the grocery shop and asking for a reduction in prices but also has to do with consciousness and healthy skepticism about how much things cost elsewhere.
There are some payment decisions that you should never make hastily. Expenses such as rent, mortgage, car insurance, car loans are in most situations recurrent and mostly tied to a single amortisable agreement, and can be a herculean task with frustration to have these agreements reviewed, suspended or abrogated. You can therefore save yourself from a great deal of regret and perplexity by having it right the first time. Anticipation of your recurrent expenses in advance before they actually reach a state of exigency is important in not ending up making rushed decisions and arbitrarily accepting any offer that is momentarily available; and this is achieved through planning. An estimated two months or more planning in advance in researching all the possible offers around will be helpful in securing the best rental deal that you will likely not regret two months down the line. Making these decisions in a week or less is accepting a great risk.
Your ability to clearly draw the distinction between your needs and wants and willingness to negotiate for lower prices in your expense inclined transactions when necessary can help you become more sensitive about your money and how judiciously you spend it. Keep the above two points and make efforts to apply them in your endeavors and stay tuned for more.